Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Three Minutes on Christmas Eve

Normanday #55: Make some carrot nog for the reindeer.

It’s Christmas Eve. The stockings have all been hung by the chimney with care and a plate of snickerdoodles placed on the mantel for Santa. Sure, sure, there are carrots for the reindeer, too. You’re just about to hightail it to bed before the man in the red suit arrives, but before you make it out of the room, down the chimney something comes and it sure isn’t Santa. Write for three minutes…

…describing whoor whathas come down the chimney.

Email what you wrote to woof at bright dot net by the end of the day December 24 (put “Norman is on Santa’s Best Ever List” in the subject line). I’ll post as many of my favorite entries as I want next Monday. Include your first name (or, even better, use a pen name) and age (unless you’re tortoise-old). If you’re a published children’s or young adult writer, include a biography to be posted with your entry.

Here is the entry from last week when I asked you to write for three minutes…

…explaining why you didnt do your homework.

The thing is, I did do my homework. I got home from school, sat down, and did all of it before I even had an after school snack. I started with the hard stuff first. I always like to do the hard stuff first because it’s the most fun. I did the math, social studies worksheets, spelling definitions, and even started work on that science project that isn’t due until next week. Then I put it all in my backpack so I wouldn’t forget it. This morning I double-checked that it was still in there, in case maybe it got out in the middle of the night to watch TV and fell asleep on the couch or something. It was still in my bag. I made sure not to let my peanut butter and jelly sandwich squish onto it because I know how you hate to grade sticky papers. I had my homework with me right up until I ran into this kid who was crying in front of my house. You don’t know him. He goes to another school. But he’s in the same grade as me and his teacher gives the exact same homework as you do. I asked him why he was crying. He told me his dog had eaten his homework. He was crying because his teacher is really mean—not nice like you are. If he didn’t have his homework today, his teacher would make him stay after school to polish her staples, paper clips, and chalk every day for the rest of the year. And if his mom found out that he hadn’t turned in his homework, she’d ground him for the rest of his life. Remember that time when Travis was crying because he said I pushed him in the lunch line and made him fall into the tray of gloppy mashed potatoes? You told me I should be nicer. Even though Travis tripped on his own, what you said stuck with me. So when I saw that kid this moring—the one you don’t know and will probably never meet because he goes to that other school on the other side of town—I knew you’d want me to be nice. That’s why I gave him my homework. And that’s why I don’t have it to give to you now.

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